Tom Tancredo Continues His Crusade

October 19, 2009 2:35 pm ET — Walid Zafar

Tom Tancredo's campaign for crazy knows no end.  When the former Colorado Congressman is not warning against "Obama's Marxist agenda," he can be found peddling his apocalyptic "clash of civilizations" worldview.  Tancredo, the grandson of Italian immigrants, is a consummate xenophobe who once introduced legislation to put a complete "moratorium on immigration."  For his antics, Rolling Stone put him on their list of the 10 Worst Congressmen, calling him "Mr. Bigotry." 

In 2005, Tancredo faced international condemnation after suggesting that threatening to bomb Mecca and Medina would serve as an appropriate deterrent to terrorism, an idea for which the conservative National Review wrote "Tom Tancredo is an idiot."  In 2007, when Tancredo had announced his intention to run for President, he made the same comments.  One should not be surprised to learn that Tancredo's most important endorsement came from Joseph Farah, founder of the conspiracy theory peddling and neo-McCarthyist World Net Daily. 

His 2007 comments elicited a strong rebuke from many leading Republicans, who rightfully distanced themselves from the firebrand Congressman.

At a speaking engagement at George Washington University last week, Tancredo, for a third time, suggested that striking Islam's holiest sites would deter terrorism.

According to New Majority:

"Well, what if you said something like -- if this happens in the United States, and we determine that it is the result of extremist, fundamentalist Muslims, you know, you could take out their holy sites," Tancredo argued.  The former congressman told students that mutually assured destruction was the best policy for preventing attacks from "Islamo-Facists." Tancredo insisted that Islamic terrorists would be greatly deterred from launching an attack on U.S. soil if they believe we are "crazy enough" to "take out" Mecca and Medina.

Columnist Neil Steinberg has called the idea "counterproductive" noting that "the prospect of the United States bombing Islamic holy cities would inspire, rather than deter, terrorists."  For example, in 2006, when the Al-Askari Mosque, one of the holiest sites in Shia Islam, was attacked, it unleashed a violent string of reprisal attacks.  The New York Times reported:

A bombing in February 2006 that destroyed its famed Golden Dome set off waves of reprisal killings by Shiite militias that left hundreds of Sunni Arabs dead within days. Sunni mosques were destroyed. The Mahdi Army, the militia of firebrand Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr, took to the streets, with some Iraqi policemen joining them.

Although Tancredo has now fallen into relative obscurity, it remains to be seen if conservatives will give Tancredo a free pass.